Archive for November, 2010

Sunday Afternoon Goodness

November 28, 2010

I’ve had 5 days off to celebrate Thanksgiving and be with my family. I’ve used most of that time to catch up on all the everyday chores that go undone since I’ve been back to work. It’s felt good to tackle the mountain of laundry, pair up the overflowing sock basket, clean out some closets and finally stop ignoring the boxes and boxes of paperwork that I was trying to, inconspicuously, hide in the corner of the dining room.

Of course there was time alloted for enjoying the time off too-Clay loaded up the kiddos and took them to Knotts Berry Farm on Wednesday, which left me alone-gloriously ALONE-in the house for an ENTIRE day! ~sigh~ I savored the sweet silence and work time.
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And the kids were happy to be away from Chore Obsessed M.O.M. for a day.

Then there was Thanksgiving-I started the day off with a bike ride to the beach, around the bay and back home to iron clothes and get everyone out the door for our 2pm reservation at the Island Club aboard NASNI. It was a crisp and beautiful day along the beach! I had no concerns except getting everyone dressed! Perfect!
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Me with some of the kiddos at dinner

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Mariah and my brother at dinner

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Gabi on the beach after dinner

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A family gathering on the beach after dinner

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The younger boys braving the cold water on Thanksgiving Day after dinner

That evening we came home and I headed to the computer to get some work done, while the boys built a fire pit in the back yard and sat around, wrapped in blankets and jackets, with guitars, cigars and song books.

A good Thanksgiving!

The kids put up with entertaining themselves around the house for all of Friday while I cleaned and tackled projects, so on Saturday I packed up the 5 youngest and we headed out to mini golf. Back in the summertime, when I was asked to come out and review the San Diego County Fair, I was given passes for Pelly’s Mini Golf and I finally decided to use them. It was a fun time with the little ones. I don’t think they really understood what they were supposed to do. There was a lot of pushing the ball instead of actually hitting it with the club. But they had fun and that’s all I was after!

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M.O.M. and the 5 youngest kiddos after an afternoon of mini golf on a beautiful San Diego, November afternoon

So that brings us to today. After church we came home to leftovers for lunch and I rolled up my sleeves for a couple more projects. The kids are scattered throughout the house with 3 extra kiddos and my brother all in the mix. Some are playing with the huge bin of Bionicle and lego pieces, there are 2 movies going (one in the playroom and one in the living room), the trampoline is being used and everyone is fairly content. I LOVE a full house on a Sunday afternoon! It’s exactly the way I think the weekend should be finished and the new week should begin. I’ve got dinner cooking and everyone is invited!

If these last 5 days haven’t been full of exactly what Thanksgiving is all about, then I guess I’ve missed the point.

Doing the Dance of the Children on a Sunday Afternoon~

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Mommy of Many™ Show #60: Here Come the Holidays

November 25, 2010

It’s Thanksgiving!
This week I talk about getting it all together for Thanksgiving and answering the question of Santa.

We ended up with a bright and beautiful San Diego Thanksgiving Day. I got to start the day with a bike ride to the beach and then iron everyone’s clothes so we could head out to the Island Club on North Island, Coronado for a relaxing Thanksgiving dinner. It was truly a day full of blessings and things to remember to be thankful for. I hope you each had the same!

Thanks for listening to the show! Your questions, comments and show ideas are always welcome and until next time, I’ll be here, Doing the Dance of the Children~

mom

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M.O.M. Brain

November 24, 2010

It’s the day before Thanksgiving and I’m alone in the house to clean and get some work done, while my family enjoys a day at Knott’s Berry Farm during their annual Salute to the Military.

So I’ve got the music playing (I love it when Rod Stewart sings to me while I clean!) and I was hanging up clothes. I heard jingling, so I stared checking pockets. Nothing. More jingling. More checking of pockets. After turning items inside out and upside down, only to find nothing in the pockets that could possibly be jingling, did I finally realized that it was my bracelets.

*knock, knock* Anyone home?

Today I’m thankful that no one is sending me to a home for better care ;-)

Doing the Dance of the Children and Jingling All the Way~

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I Love Being a M.O.M. But Today I Hate Being a Girl!

November 23, 2010

I started this morning by saying that it was going to be a week of being thankful and I posted that I was thankful for my children’s’ schools and all the great people that are part of those schools. But as the day wore on, I started to forget about being thankful for much of anything and started hating that I’m a girl-a 39yr old girl whose had 9 kiddos and a hysterectomy but still has to go through the stinking process of cycling every month.

When I had to make the decision to go through my surgery, I also had to decide whether to keep my ovaries or go into menopause. So, while I don’t have to worry about whether or not there’s ever a feminine hygiene product in my purse, I still get to go through the roller coaster of emotions that encompass PMS. And now that I don’t chart (there’s nothing to chart and no NEED for charting), it often sneaks up on me when I’m not looking. Welcome to today!

It hit me full force with emotions, ovulation pain, feeling fat and wanting to eat all manner of junk foods. I hit my low point this evening when I really wanted to break out the chocolate mousse, but was unwilling to take the time to make it, so instead I opted to cover chocolate nonpareils with whipped cream and devoured them while thinking they were, surely, going to chocolate coat any ugly emotions I was having and make them deliciously acceptable. Wrong!

So then I took 2 Pamprin, followed by a glass of water and sipped a glass of wine. I’m feeling much better, thank you.

I’ve spent the last 7 hours of this day feeling like a Picasso painting, but now that I’m feeling more even and put together, I’m remembering all I should’ve done with this afternoon and evening. Let’s see…there are the cheese cubes to prepare for Max’s class feast tomorrow, the pilgrim costume to dig out and make sure is clean, the reading log that needs to be filled out and ready to be turned in…

Forget it! I’m taking my moment of evenness, washing my face and calling it a night! I’ll tackle the other stuff in the morning when there’s less chance I’ll decide that chocolate and whipped cream covered cheese cubes are REALLY what the 2nd graders want!

Back to being thankful in the morning!

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New Things Coming to MommyofMany.com

November 21, 2010

I’ve mentioned that I’m working with my webmaster to update the site and make things easier to find. We’ve been brainstorming and doing some designing and now it’s time for me to put in a little work so that we can be done. Over the next few days you’ll see some posts that may seem redundant or out of place. Nope! It’s all just part of what I need to do for the end result to make sense. So…here’s to an easier to navigate and freshened up site!

Let the M.O.M. work begin!

Doing the Dance of the Children and Trying to Focus on My Creative Energy~

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Saturday Morning Kids

November 20, 2010

Yep, It’s Saturday! I’m sure of it. Why else would my 2 youngest boys be up just after 4 am?

It never fails! NEVER! On school days I go through the house at 5:30 waking the kids for school. I go back in at 5:40, 5:45, 5:50. By 6:00 my voice has changed from one that’s encouraging my kids to greet the day to one of urgency and annoyance-”YOU MUST GET UP! YOU HAVE SCHOOL! YOU KNOW THE ROUTINE AND YOU KNOW IT’S PAST TIME TO GET UP!”.

On Sunday it’s not much better, except I give them until 6:30 since we don’t have to leave the house until 8:30. But the pattern is pretty much the same-Happily waking them. Encouraging them to get up and greet the day. Wanting them to start with a smile on their faces. Re-waking them 3 times and finally giving them my urgent and annoyed voice.

But Saturday-That’s a whole different deal. Saturday I’m greeted by the joyful smile of my youngest son well before 5am. He usually wants a hot bath, hot chocolate and a movie. I give him a big hug, start the bath, give him some toys, make his hot chocolate, pick out comfy clothes, dry him off, give him his drink and we decide on his movie. Somewhere in the process Max usually joins in. Hmmm…maybe they’ve figured out that they get some quality Mommy Time and that my voice is much more pleasant if they do it this way. Hmmm…

Smart kids!

Doing the Dance of the Children in the Dark of a Saturday Morning~

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That’s A First!

November 20, 2010

Dinner’s already been eaten and cleared but Lex decided he was still hungry. He looked in the refrigerator, pointed to the brussel sprouts and asked me to make him one. I tried to explain that the way he likes them takes too long and that I’d make them tomorrow. He insisted that he have a brussel sprout as his evening snack, so I put one in a little water and put it in the microwave. After it was done, I put a little butter, some salt and pepper on it and I went to my room to change for bed.

Soon I heard Lex angrily crying. When I asked him what was wrong he said, “Gabi ate my brussel sprout!”.

Patting myself on the back for having kids who steal each other’s brussel sprouts ;-)

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A Night Out for Ladies Club

November 19, 2010

If you search backward in this blog about 2 years ago, you’ll find all sorts of reasons that I was out in the afternoon and evenings-NOSC meetings and events, Spouse’s Club meetings and events, I hosted the NOSC’s monthly Coastal Coffee, Ladies’ Club for school, Bible Study…

Seriously, I had events several times a week. But last Fall, I started working and Clay was deployed, so I knew I wasn’t going to be able to keep up the social schedule. I let all the clubs and social functions fall away. I DO miss being connected to so many great woman and attending so many fun and purposeful events, but staying home and having a steady, evening routine was key to keeping things running smoothly.

Tonight, I attended the school’s Ladies’ Club event for the first time since last December and I had a great time! I was able to sit and visit with all these great moms who I see each day at school when they’re dropping off their kiddos, but I never get the chance to have a conversation with. I also got the inside scoop on the Kindergarten drama-Gabi, the kindergarten heartbreaker? Hmmm…

I plan on attending the December event, which is always lots of fun because it’s a gift exchange.

Yea for an evening of being out and getting to know some of these great ladies beyond our kiddos!

Doing the Dance of the Children and Enjoying an Evening Out~

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A Day Off

November 17, 2010

I’ve got today off so that I can take Lex to a dental appt. I’m trying to get all the dental issues taken care of before the end of the month, when our coverage changes. So today it’s 2 fillings for the little guy and a day off for Mom. I’m hoping to accomplish a few things after the appt.

I’ve been working with my webmaster to revamp my website. We have some new things coming that will make it easier to find some things on the sight, but I have homework to do before we can push the button and make the change. Every day I’ve told myself I was going to tackle what needed to be done and everyday I sit down at the computer and realize I’m just too tired to think of anything that has to do with creativity. Not only that! I have a show to edit and get posted!

So, I’m happy to have a day off and I’m hoping I can get Lex to the dentist, make a stop at the Dr to drop off some papers and then get settled in front of my computer and get some work done.

*fingers crossed*

Doing the Dance of the Children and Trying to Find Some Time for Me~

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I Hate the Grocery Shopping, But Look at the Cupboard!

November 16, 2010

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Ugh! Day 1 of the “big” shopping done. 1-2 more trips and I’ll be done for this 2 week period of time. I hate it! It takes up so much of my time! It’s not just the shopping, it’s putting everything away! But…once it’s done, everyone is happy and there are plenty of food choices for the next 2 weeks. The kiddos have already picked out what cereal (hot or cold) they’re having for tomorrow. Just wait till they realize there’s Peppermint Whipped Cream if they choose waffles!

Don’t get me wrong. I DO love having the cupboards all stocked up and all the things I need at my fingertips, but the shopping is so time-consuming! Think about how many times we touch our groceries before they are ready for us to use;

Pick item up from shelf and place into cart
Take item from cart, place onto conveyer belt @ check out
Pack item into bag
Place bag into cart
Take bag from cart and put into car
Take bag from car and place on counter/kitchen floor
Take each item from bag and put into cupboard or fridge

Geesh! By the time we use the food we’ve bought, we’ve moved it 7 times!

I’m exhausted by the whole thing! I tell ya, if there’s a way to streamline the process, I’m going to discover it, patent it and sit back and watch it work!

Doing the Dance of the Children, with a Full Pantry~

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Mommy of Many™ Tip

November 13, 2010

I’ve discovered that a dryer sheet in every other load works the same as a dryer sheet in every load. Make your dryer sheets last twice as long!

Doing the Dance of the Children and Finding Ways to Stretch the Budget~

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This Military Life is Coming to an End

November 13, 2010

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I haven’t really been ready to talk about this because I just couldn’t figure out how to process it. But the end is speeding toward us, some pieces have fallen into place and I think I can spit out the words now.

About 4 months ago Clay let me know that he would be forced into retirement at the end of November (see how close it is?!). He was passed over for advancement and since he has already served 23 years, it meant he would have to retire.

You can imagine that this brought on a lot of anxieties! First of all (and really foremost in my head) we live in military housing. We’ve been fortunate enough to be in this AMAZING housing for 11 years! My last 4 children have never known anything but this neighborhood. That doesn’t mean we haven’t done our fair share of moving around. The first 7 years, this family moved and moved and moved! So, if his military career was going away, so was our house! This became my primary focus. I figured I’d leave the job issue to him, but I couldn’t get over thinking about not having a house anymore. Where would we live?! Do you know how expensive housing is in San Diego?! What about the kid’s schools?! It’s very odd to go from a life of being told where you’re going, when you’re going there and what you will be doing once you get there, to having to CHOOSE these things! And honestly, there’s a whole system set in place for the transition, but it normally is a year or so long process, not one of 4 months!

After stressing out about these things for about 3 months, I finally decided to go down to the housing office and ask some questions. I’m sure glad I did! I found out that we have an automatic 30 days that we can stay here, after retirement and also found out that an Exception to Policy letter could be written asking to stay through the end of the school year. Most of my anxiety melted away right there! We are now approved to stay here until the end of June, if it works out for us to do so. This made me feel SO much better!

So, Clay will be retired at the end of this month. He is looking for a new career. His ceremony will be at the beginning of December and the kids can finish out their school year in the schools they know in the neighborhood they know so well. After that…

Well, you can imagine there’s a lot of prayer going on.

But right now, it’s just time to focus on the upcoming holidays and take each day as it comes. I know there’s a Big Plan that I’m not in charge of and I’m reminding myself each day not to worry about it. I can do what I can do and leave the rest in God’s hands.

Doing the Dance of the Children One Day at a Time~

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Lock it Up or Let it Go!

November 11, 2010

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This is the motto I’ve had to adopt if I’m going to be any sort of kind, caring, giving mother. I have 3 teenage daughters in the house and a host of little ones with sticky fingers. I’ve had to learn that if something is REALLY important to me  I have to find a safe hiding place for it, carry it with me or let it go. Nothing is safe!

This morning I went to grab my camera off of my desk to snap pictures of my birthday boy opening presents and discovered it was missing, only to be told that it was probably left on the floor of my 16 yr olds friend’s car. Of course it was! I knew I was getting lax by leaving it on my desk instead of keeping it in my purse. This in only 1 example. I’ve spent the last 2 weeks creatively trimming up my eyebrows to keep from looking like Chubaka’s sister because my tweezers “disappeared”. Then there’s the eyeshadow that the girls asked if they could use for Homecoming that’s been sucked into the void of “I don’t know where it is”. Should I tell you about my Clinique products? The eye makeup remover that seems to disappear at a rate that’s 4x faster than it should be? The face lotion that is constantly needing to be refilled? And how ’bout my laptop that was constantly borrowed to “do a paper for school” but was always being found on the floor of my daughters’ rooms? Can you believe there have even been times I’ve taken the cord from my desktop computer and kept it with me so that my computer wasn’t messed with?!  And people wonder why I carry a bag the size of a small apartment!

I’ve had to really think about all these things and decide what’s important to me. I guess I can share my facial products without too much grumbling, but when I’m losing items that I purchase to make my life easier or keep things the way I’d like them, it makes me angry. I want my kids to remember me as a mother who was giving of herself and who taught them to be kind and to share, but where’s the line? Do I REALLY need to put a safe in my bathroom to lock up my extra change, make-up, “beauty” tools and pieces of technology that are important to me?

Unfortunately it looks like we’re moving in that direction!

Doing the Dance of the Children and Feeling Like a Miser~

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I Am NO Fun!

November 10, 2010

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“Max! Stop blowing that whistle in the car!”

“No! You can’t watch a movie before your homework is done.”

“You can absolutely NOT jump off the roof onto the trampoline!”

“Take your food to the dining table.”

“You MUST be strapped into your car seat WHENEVER you are in a car-ANY car!”

“Get back here and put on a helmet.”

“It’s too dark to bike/walk/skateboard to Mr. Frosties/the beach/the pier/7-11/your friend’s house”

“No you can’t drive! You don’t have a license!”

“Get out of bed! It’s a school day and you’re not throwing up/burning up with a fever or bleeding.”

“Put shoes on before you ride that bike!”

“Sorry, no cupcakes for breakfast.”

My 18 yr old has been home for almost 2 weeks and after hearing me continually repeat these (and other) phrases to him and his siblings, he turned to his younger brothers and declared, “Mom is just no fun!”.

That’s me! No fun! I guess he forgot.

Doing the Dance of the Children and Trying to Keep them Alive~

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My Honest (and Kid-Friendly) Answer to the Question of Santa

November 9, 2010

Santa Claus is Coming to Town

“Mom, is Santa real?”, “Mommy, is there REALLY a Santa Claus?”, “Mom, what’s the truth about Santa Claus?”, “Mommy who was the REAL Santa?”, “Mom, was Santa a real man?”

All us mommies have heard these questions. I know I asked them when I was little and I was always given the story of the North Pole, Santa and his reindeer and all the elves etc. When I became a mom I made the decision that I would tell my kiddos the truth of Santa from the beginning. This morning Gabi (6yrs old) came into the kitchen and asked, “Mom what’s the real truth about Santa?”. And for the umpteenth time, I gave this answer;

Saint Nicholas was a REAL man that lived a long time ago. He was born into a family with a lot of money and when he got older he really, really did put gifts into shoes. He died a long time ago and is now in Heaven with Jesus and together they help us get presents on Christmas.

I’ve given this exact same explanation to each of my kiddos over the years. I’ve never changed it. I’ve never woven tales of toy shops or flying reindeer, but it hasn’t stopped my little ones from excitedly exclaiming that on Christmas Eve, they’ve spotted Santa and his sleigh’s lights flying overhead. What are you gonna do?! I don’t take away their excitement when they say these things, but when I’m asked, I give the same answer. Heck! Look it up! You can actually find the real history of St. Nicholas, so why not share it?!

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I let them have their magical ideas but still give them the truth. So far it’s been well received and I’m happy to keep giving the answer.

And by-the-way, when I’m asked about the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny I simply say, “isn’t it fun to believe in some things that seem impossible?”.

Doing the Dance of the Children and Trying to Keep it Real~

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